Erwin Rieger

* 1930  †︎ 2014

  • E. R. “The girls were afraid that the Russians would rape them. There were cases like that. I was a young boy and I was listening behind the closed door and I heard her telling my mom about it. They grabbed a woman who had two sons. Her husband was probably on the front. So she went to live in Hraničná to hide, in a little house. Two Russian men came to her at night. They pulled her out, threw her on the ground by the brook, and they raped her. She said: ´I was afraid that they would dump me in that brook afterwards.´ That's what I heard." His wife M. R.: "They shot his sister. The place where she lived is now in Poland, but it was the German territory at that time. Irna was married and during the revolution, she wanted to return to her parents. At night. They shot her, because she didn’t stop.”

  • “We were not allowed to speak as we wanted. They would arrest us for that. This was the same problem under the communist regime, just as it was when Hitler was in power. My dad was in the pub, and he did a bit of talking. He was over forty years old. They said: ´We would imprison him, but he has this large family.´ There were eight of us children. Altogether there were ten of us in the family. He had to go to the front as punishment for this. He was probably a bit drunk, and he said something negative about Hitler. Many people there believed in Hitler. You had to watch your mouth.”

  • “The front passed here. It moved towards Hraničky, and then from Hraničky up into Poland. I saw it here. I would watch the soldiers and see how terrible they looked. It was terrible to look at them. There were the refugees who were escaping from the Russians. Farmers with horses, and women with horses among these soldiers. The women often didn’t even know how to ride horses. The horses didn’t even go up the hill where the pub is. I would often sit there all day. The front would take two or three days to pass, and then the Russians would follow them two days later. But I didn’t follow the Russians. When the Germans were passing through, I did go to watch them. They were poor people. It was the end for them, and they were completely ruined by the war.”

  • “I don’t know if he bought Hraničná, this (Carlant?), but he demolished all the houses. He sold the village to Slovakia with all that was in it. Houses were being built in Slovakia. And he demolished everything here. Bricks, fibre cement…all these houses had roofs from fibre cement. Including our house, where I was born. He demolished our house, too. I was born there, and he tore it down. There were the bricks. We had built a new kitchen shortly before. And there were good clean bricks, and he sold them all, that’s how money was made. The local administration permitted this. All of them were communists, anyway.”

  • Edwin Rieger: "When they were demolishing the houses, I was working in the field with the horses on the farm. I saw the men riding away on bikes. They let the houses explode. They loaded explosives into their basements and blew them up. We had to open all the windows. She told me about it because I wasn’t at home." Margarita Riegereová: "We continued to live here, but when they were demolishing the houses, they told us to get out. Our house remained standing, but all the windows and doors were broken. Now he has a beehive there. We purchased the garden later. All of our windows were smashed. We had opened all of them, but the blast broke them. We were here upstairs, and we were watching it. What a horror!"

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    Skorošice - Nové Domky , 15.02.2011

    duration: 01:53:07
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There were two flourmills and a water-powered saw-mill, and they had to demolish it all

Erwin Rieger.jpg (historic)
Erwin Rieger

Erwin Rieger was born to German parents in 1930 in the small village of Hraničná, (Gränzgrunt) in the foothills of the Rychlebské (Reichensteiner) Mountains. He spent his childhood in this village which no longer exists today. His father Franz had to join the army during the war at the age of 42, because he defamed Hitler while talking in a pub. Erwin, as the eldest son, had to provide for the family when he was only fifteen years old. His sister Irna was shot by Soviet soldiers at the end of the war when she tried to cross the border. His family was not included in the expulsion of Germans after the war because they were hired for forest work. It was probably in 1948 when he married Margareta Glatterová. They have been living together in the hamlet Nové Domky (Neuhäuser) ever since. His native village became desolate after the war and it was demolished. The only remaining witnesses of its former inhabitants are now ruined foundations of destroyed houses thickly covered with bushes. The neighbouring houses in Nové Domky were also demolished in 1958, and the Rieger family’s house was the only one that now remains. Until 1964 they had no electricity in the house, and it was finally installed upon an intervention by president Antonín Novotný. Erwin died in 2014.